Be an Education Program Manager
Education program managers design and implement academic and training programs. They're often responsible for all aspects of the program, including budgeting, marketing, staffing, and managing the content and framework. These professionals work in more than just academia. Education program managers are also employed in business, healthcare, nonprofit organizations, and government.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement; employers often prefer master's degree|
|Degree Field||Education, business technology, or a related field|
|Key Skills||Designing educational programs, analyzing data, communication, personnel, and management|
|Salary (2015)||$53,681 per year (median annual salary for education program managers)|
Source: Payscale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Let's take a closer look at the steps to becoming an education program manager.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Positions as an education program manager require at least a bachelor's degree. The degree field can be flexible, but should be relevant to the type of job they'll want to pursue. For example, those who major in nursing or other medical fields could be sufficient for a program manager job in healthcare, while a public affairs major might work for a nonprofit or government position. Some degree programs that could apply to a wider range of education program manager jobs could be in education, technology, or business administration. No matter the major, taking some courses in these three fields is recommended, since these will be part of the job.
Step 2: Obtain Work Experience
Obtaining an education program management position requires more than a degree. Developing work experience as an educator or trainer creates the context for learning necessary skills. This work experience grows candidates' capabilities for creating and implementing large-scale programs to improve education. Some employers also look for program managers with work experience specific to the types of programs they'll develop.
Step 3: Earn a Master's Degree
Not every position will require a master's degree, but some will either require this degree before hiring or shortly after. Master's students may focus on specific areas of education development and customize their curriculum to more closely align with a particular industry. Education program management involves knowing more than teaching methodologies. An MBA or business courses within another master's program will teach students helpful skills to succeed as an education program manager.
Hopeful education program managers should earn a bachelor's degree, obtain work experience, and the consider earning a master's degree.